Preparing Jeera Aloo

Jeera Aloo, a popular Indian dish, is a simple yet flavorful combination of fresh potatoes cooked with onions, garlic, ginger, and aromatic cumin seeds (jeera). I looked at a version from The Royal Al-Faisal in Birmingham which I really enjoyed. Tried recreating it here! This vegetarian delight makes for a satisfying meal or a delightful side dish. Here’s how you can prepare Jeera Aloo for two people:-

Ingredients

  • 3-4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped (optional, adjust according to spice preference)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional, for added heat)
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Preparation

Preparing the Potatoes

  1. Peel the potatoes and dice them into cubes of uniform size to ensure even cooking.
  2. Place the diced potatoes in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from turning brown while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cooking the Jeera Aloo

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter and release their aroma, which should take about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the chopped onions to the pan and sauté them until they turn translucent and start to caramelize, which should take around 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and chopped green chili (if using) to the pan. Sauté for another 1-2 minutes until the raw aroma of the garlic and ginger disappears.
  5. Drain the diced potatoes from the water and add them to the pan. Stir well to coat the potatoes with the onion-garlic-ginger mixture.
  6. Sprinkle ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, salt, and red chili powder (if using) over the potatoes. Mix everything together until the potatoes are evenly coated with the spices.
  7. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid, and let the potatoes cook for about 10-15 minutes or until they are fork-tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
  8. Once the potatoes are cooked through, remove the lid and increase the heat to medium-high. This will help crisp up the potatoes slightly.
  9. Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes develop a golden-brown crust on the outside and are cooked to your desired level of crispiness.

Serving

  1. Transfer the cooked Jeera Aloo to a serving dish.
  2. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves for a burst of freshness.
  3. Serve hot alongside roti, naan, or rice.
  4. Optionally, serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the Jeera Aloo just before eating, for an extra tangy kick.

Tips

  • You can adjust the spices according to your taste preferences. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of chili powder or green chili to suit your spice tolerance.
  • For an extra burst of flavor, you can sprinkle some chaat masala over the Jeera Aloo just before serving.
  • If you prefer a softer texture, you can cover the pan with a lid for a longer duration during the cooking process.

Jeera Aloo is a delightful dish that showcases the wonderful flavors of potatoes and cumin seeds, complemented by the aromatic blend of onions, garlic, and ginger. Enjoy this comforting dish as a satisfying meal or as a flavorful side dish to accompany your favorite Indian main course.

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